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There have been protests from crafters and traders after a sequence of summer craft markets at Stornoway Town Hall was cancelled at short notice.

The market organisers said on their Facebook Page: "We are very sorry to report that due to changes in Town Hall booking policy, The Craft Market is no longer able to book events at the venue.

"Craft events will now be managed solely by the Town Hall, and the cost of booking tables has risen to a level that make attendance non-viable for many traders.

"We were unable to announce this earlier because the decision was dropped on us only 10 days before the market season was due to open over Easter weekend.

"There was no warning, and no consultation.

"We are deeply sorry that the Town Hall is no longer our home, and are currently seeking a new venue. We would like to thank everyone who has supported the events over the last 15 years, including traders, local people and visitors."

The craft market will continue at its other venue, Tarbert Community Centre

Margaret Ralston, of the Lewis Candle Company, stated in response: "I would like to take this opportunity to thank you both for all your help, support and advice. It is tragic that it has came to this without any consultation, empathy or even a modicum of respect.

"I do recognise the CnES are in a difficult position. I feel it could have been done in a much better way.  Mike and Di have been fantastic, they have created a community of crafters and artisans . It had been a supportive, creative environment and we all felt we were in a safe space to grow.

"People loved coming in and speaking to the artists , watching them work and sharing stories. Mike and Di have helped every trader, seen the kids grow up and cared for us all.

"I believe that my own daughter certainly benefited being with me at Craft events. My son is now studying film and photography clearly influenced by the photographers that came through the Craft Market.

"Can I also mention that Mike and Di’s Craft Market was part of local community with folk dropping by to purchase local crafts for gifts as well as tourists.

"It was also a great place for young businesses to develop and grow. In fact ..the best place to grow surrounded by folk just as excited and passionate about your new venture or looking at the next step to grow. They also provided free charity tables in order to raise awareness and provide funds for these charities.

"Thank you, Mike and Di, for everything. Your contribution to my business as well as the local traders has been invaluable."

More than 80 other responses on the Facebook Page of the Craft market echoed these feelings. 

The Stornoway Town Hall's own Facebook page says: "Stornoway Town Hall is inviting local businesses and traders to get involved in craft markets and fairs this year. Craft markets are a great way for local crafters to sell their creations and merchandise to raise funds. For booking forms, the dates of future events, or all other inquiries, please email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

They say there will be events throughout the summer – some dates are given above – and the costs are as follows: